Although getting to the port from our hotel was a bit overwhelming, (We booked with the cruise line for the hotel and transfers) and waiting for checking in was longer than I had hoped for, after that eveything was great. There were three bus loads of passengers from our hotel, so waiting until all the baggage was loaded, and everyone accounted for, took longer than expected I'm sure. Then when we finally got to the port, one of the gentlemen who guided us, chided us on waitng so long to arrive at the port, even though it was out of our control. But check in itself was very quick and painless. Once we crossed the gangplank, all was forgiven!
On to the cruise...., our cabin steward, Jonel, was wonderful. Really enjoyed the towel animals, especially when he made a special display for our anniversary, two lovely swans and balloons. Plus he took such good care of us, our cabin was always so spotless!
Activities...our favorite, of course, was the Pub Hop with Montse. What a fun, fun time! We made such great friends with all the crawlers and Montse. 'Bloody Mary' was the absolute best! We had so much fun, we begged for, and were granted, a second crawl. And then, we had so much fun we arranged our own 'un-offical' crawl. The Bar Servers, Jason, Bier Garden and Amit, StarBar,(our favorites), the wait staff, just everyone we encountered was so friendly. Always said hello and were so helpful. We also attended a few of the seminars on excursions and shopping, played bingo, met the Senior Staff, and enjoyed some of the shows. "Elements" was awesome! The most elaborate show we have ever seen.
Meeting the Senior Staff was so wonderful. No only that, but they were always around, and very approachable. We had T-shirts made up special for the cruise as we were leaving on the 100th Anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, and brought along markers to have people sign them. Needless to say, our shirts are covered with signatures! From Pub Hop Friends to the Captain (Thanks to Katya, Bar Manager and Shirlette, our favorite Bar Tender). Sean, Hotel Manger, was very interested in hearing about the positive, and negative, comments. Katya, Bar Manager, was also very attentive and sincerely concerned about our cruise experience. Having met most of the Senior Staff, and that had signed our shirts, we felt they were truely interested in our opinions. At the end of 'Elements', when the Cruise staff and Officers took the stage, incredible! What a finish!
The food was very good. Really enjoyed everything. We ate Breakfast, mostly, at the Market Cafe or Blue Lagoon, lunch at the Market Cafe or Blue Lagoon, and dinners mostly in Aqua, and had a good experience in all places. We were pleased with the choices and quality. Sometimes I didn't enjoy what I ordered, but that was because I ordered something I had never eaten before and wanted to try it.
The only negatives I could comment on would be the lack of shaded areas. There was plenty of space, albeit difficult to find empty chairs/lounge chairs, for sunning, but very little area to sit out of the sun, and still be outside. I would have been best to have more seating on Deck Seven, the Promenade.
All in all, if we could sail with this crew again, we would at every opportunity! This crew was like a FAMILY, from washy-washy to Bloody Mary to the bar staff to the wait staff to the executive staff. We had a ball!